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Evelyn Swanson spent nearly three years as a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during the World War II era. 
-- Photo by Jason Schulte
Evelyn Swanson spent nearly three years as a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during the World War II era. -- Photo by Jason Schulte

Swanson reflects on her time in the Navy

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The moment happened nearly 65 years ago, but Evelyn Swanson can remember like it was yesterday.

Swanson walked into a classroom at a Naval base in Norfolk, Va., where the topic was going to be basic Naval knowledge.

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"I attended my first class and there were 11 sailors and me," she said. "They were surprised to see me and vice versa."

Swanson was in Norfolk at the time, during the height of U.S. involvement in World War II, as she was a member of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), during the height of U.S. involvement in World War II. WAVES was a then-division of the U.S. Navy consisting entirely of women. It began in August 1942, when then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt convinced Congress to authorize a women's component of the Navy.

"They could have been resentful, but they weren't," she remembers of her fellow classmates. "We got along fine. It was easier than I thought it was going to be."

For more please read the July 7 print version of the Herald.

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